Buying a home in New JerseyIn New Jersey, when you buy a home, there is a realtor contract with a three day period for a lawyer to look over and comb through it thoroughly. During this time, the buyer or the seller can pull out of the deal without any legal consequences. After those three days are up, the contract will become legally binding. It is also standard practice for the buyer’s lawyer to send a letter of review to the seller’s attorney to let them make any necessary changes or additions. When both parties are happy, the contract can be completed. Of course, there will be a disclosure statement from the seller under which they are obligated to notify the buyer of any known defects with the property that could affect the value of the home or the safety of anybody living in it. Many contracts include an inspection contingency. This allows the buyer to pull out if a home inspection uncovers defects that the seller failed to disclose. Usually, the seller’s attorney will act as an escrow agent. The attorney will then receive and hold onto the down payment that is furnished by the buyer. At the completion of the contract, the money will be released to the seller.
Refinancing in New JerseyPeople in New Jersey have a couple of state laws that protect them from the worst excesses of unscrupulous refinance lenders. These stop:
- Flipping: When the financial benefits of refinancing are so small that it will take four years or longer to recoup your refinancing costs
- High-cost loans: When the points and fees due on closing exceed 5% (6% for very low-value mortgages) of the total amount of the loan
No-closing-costs refinancesOne firm of New Jersey lawyers warns of lenders who claim they "can complete the refinance through their title company without costs or attorney fees." The firm says: "Under the guise of lower closing costs, these title companies often charge HIGHER costs including a state mandated settlement fee of $350, which is often not disclosed. Other incidental charges that are not charged by attorneys can bring your closing costs higher than if your attorney had been involved from the start." Skeptical readers may be thinking, "Attorneys arguing against skipping attorneys’ fees. Who’d have thunk it?" But they may have a point. If you’re offered a no-closing-costs deal, it’s worth studying the small print closely. Often, you’ll pay a slightly higher mortgage rate so you end up paying disguised closing costs (plus interest) over the life of your loan, perhaps 30 years. That may not bother you. A slightly higher monthly payment might well be worth it if money’s tight today. But you should be aware of what’s happening under the hood.
First time home buyers in NJIf you’re a first time home buyer in New Jersey, you’re in luck. The NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has two programs to make home buying more affordable for first-timers. The NJHMFA Mortgage Program is an affordable, government-backed home loan for new buyers. If you qualify, this can be supplemented with NJ’s down payment assistance program, which offers up to $10,000 as a no-interest, forgivable loan to help cover your down payment and closing costs. Qualification for these programs depends on your credit score, income, and first-time home buyer status. But if you’re not eligible, you can likely still find a great deal with a nationwide low-down-payment mortgage program. Learn more here. >>
Mortgage calculator: New JerseyCalculate your mortgage payment for a home in New Jersey. Start by finding your current mortgage rate using the filters above. Then enter your rate, home price, down payment, and loan term into the mortgage calculator below to estimate your monthly payment.
NJ mortgage lendersCustomer reviews are a good starting point if you’re looking for the best NJ lenders. According to ValuePenguin, the five biggest mortgage companies in New Jersey are Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Quicken Loans, PNC, and TD Bank. Here’s how they stack up for customer ratings:
|Top NJ Mortgage Lenders||Customer Rating on Zillow (out of 5)|
|Bank of America||4.87|